Movers: Citigroup, Rambus, Schlumberger, Apollo Group, Coach, Palm
Citigroup (C) falls.41 to 6.75 after WSJ reports that Robert Rubin, the former Treasury Secretary who has been sharply criticized over his role in the financial turmoil at Citigroup, plans to leave the bank and has submitted a letter of resignation, according to a person familiar with the situation. Rubin is senior counselor and a director. Separately, WSJ said Citi is in talks to sell its Smith Barney brokerage and asset-management unit, according to people familiar with the situation. S&P maintains hold.
Rambus (RMBS) falls 7.26 to 11.24 after the company announces that the U.S. District Court of Delaware in the patent infringement matter with Micron Technology (MU) has found that RMBS cannot pursue its claims against MU due to spoliation. In her opinion, the Honorable Sue L. Robinson determined that Rambus executed its document retention policy during a time when it anticipated litigation.
Schlumberger (SLB) was down 2.83 to 43.00. Late Thursday, SLB said it's cutting up to 1,000 jobs in North America, or about 5% of its work force, is looking at cuts elsewhere around the globe. S&P maintains buy.
Apollo Group (APOL) posts $1.12, vs. $0.39 a year ago, first quarter EPS on 24% revenue. Total Degreed Enrollment grew by 18%. Says its flagship University of Phoenix contributed "significantly" to results. S&P upgrades to buy from hold. Stifel Nicolaus raises target, estimates.
Best Buy (BBY) narrows fiscal year 2009 EPS guidance range to $2.50-$2.70, including $11 million investment impairment charge, expenses related to its voluntary separation program, other restructuring charges, vs. previously announced range of $2.30-$2.90. Says current guidance assumes comp-store sales decline of 2%-3% for fiscal year 2009. Posts 6.8% lower December same-store sales, 4% higher total sales. S&P maintains buy.
Coach (COH) cuts $0.77 second quarter EPS guidance to about $0.67 on lower-than-expected sales of $960 million. It says North American same-store sales for the quarter declined 13%. COH says it will not provide EPS guidance for H2 fiscal year 2009. S&P cuts estimates; reiterates strong buy.
Palm (PALM) unveils its Palm webOS mobile platform, built from the ground up to be constantly connected to the web, and the Palm Pre, the first phone based on the new platform. Pre is slated to be available exclusively from Sprint (S) in the first half of 2009. S&P raises target, maintains hold. Morgan Joseph upgrades PALM to buy from hold.
CVS Caremark (CVS) sees 2009 EPS of $2.53-$2.61, below Street estimates. S&P lowers estimate, target; reiterates strong buy.
KB Home (KBH) posts $3.96 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $9.99 loss a year ago, as lower SG&A costs offset 56% lower revenues. Current quarter loss seen wider than estimates. Says it generated positive operating cash flow of $311.1 million during fourth quarter, ended the year with $1.25 billion of cash and cash equivalents, mainly due to early redemption of public debt during the year.
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